banner ad

The all powerful Baba should watch out! He is not God

| March 12, 2013 More

Alhaji Sambo Umar Jimberi is the permanent secretary and focal person of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Bauchi State Office.  In this interview with NAJIB SANI, he enumerates the impacts of the MDGs activities in the state since its inception and asserts that they have drastically reduced the rate of poverty among the people.

Tell us the activities of the MDGs?

The target of the MDGs al over the world is to eradicate extreme hunger, poverty, promote girl child education and gender equality as well as to eradicate diseases in the society among others. So, these are some of the major goals we want to effectively achieve to improve the lives of the people. MDGs Bauchi State came into existence in 2007 out of his Excellency Malam Isa Yuguda’s desire to transform the lives of the people of Bauchi State, particularly the rural populace.

The state, in line with United Nations Initiatives as ratified by 193 member states, set out to achieve by 2015 the eight set millennium goals, and we have been working round the clock to be party to the attainment of these noble objectives in the state.

 

Could you specifically enumerate some of the programmes you have carried out in the state since the establishment of the MDGs Office to improve the plight of the citizens?

Well, we have executed numerous projects across the state, which impacted positively on the people in the areas of health, education, poverty alleviation and social amenities. During the period under review, I led a team of professionals on a needs assessment tour to all the 20 LGAs in the state. The aim was to identify pressing needs in the area of heath, potable water, sanitation, etc, preparatory to the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) of 2012.  Since its inception, MDGs under the CGS has performed the following activities that touched the lives of the citizenry. For stance, we constructed of 200 water hand pump bore holes in parts of the state and 100 solar powered boreholes.

We also built 20 new primary health care maternities in the 20 local governments of the state and renovated the 10 existing maternities to ensure quality health care delivery services. And we donated 20 ambulances to the newly constructed health centres to facilitate movement of patients to the hospitals, especially in case of emergencies. Twenty tricycles [KEKE NAPEPS] were also distributed to these facilities to augment transportation of patients to hospitals, particularly in the rural areas.

Similarly, large consignments of drugs, medical equipment, and solar inverters were also provided to hospitals in the state.

In the same vein, MDGs has within the period under review provided 600 public latrines across the state. So we have done a lot in the aspect of health and we will continue to do so.

 

Bauchi State was rated one of the poorest states in the country, and the target of the MDGs is to eradicate abject poverty among the people; what have you been doing in that regard?

 Yes, we have done a lot and will continue to do more in that regard. For instance, we recently established nine skills acquisition centres, two for women, four for youths, two nomadic and one for people living with disabilities. Recently, we also introduced in the state the Conditional Cash Transfer [CCT] programme initiated by the office of the senior special assistant to president on MDGs. The scheme is an intervention mechanism aimed at identifying poor households to help build up them assets by investing in human capital. The main purpose of the CCT programme is to address intergenerational transfer of poverty and to foster social inclusion by targeting the poorest of the poor families. This would be implemented by giving the poorest families monthly grants with a view to giving them access to improved health care delivery and enable them to enroll their wards in schools, because MDGs the world over is set up with the objective of alleviating abject poverty and extreme hunger in the society and bringing succour to the less privileged. So, the CCT scheme was implemented in the state to assist the downtrodden and less privileged people.

 

How was the CCT scheme implemented in the state to ensure that the right beneficiaries were selected?

In order to ensure justice and fairness in the selection, His Excellency Isa Yuguda inaugurated a nine-member committee under the chairmanship of the commissioner for budget and economic planning, Alhaji Aminu Hammayo, to select the right beneficiaries, with commissioner of women Affairs, Hajiya Talatu Barwa, permanent secretaries of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Sabo Bappayo, General Services, Alhaji Aliyu Dankama,  representative of the state’s  first Lady Mrs. Hope Egwu and I as members.

The state implementation committee facilitated the formation and inauguration of similar structures in all the nine selected LGAs.

After inaugurating the Local Government Implementation Committee (LGIC), they also supervised the formation of the community implementation committee (CIC) which has direct contact with grassroots. Selection of beneficiaries is done at this level under close supervision of the State Implementation Committee (SIC) and LGIC.

We, therefore, identified the nine LGAs of Bauchi  Katagum, Misau, Darazo, Dambam, Dass, Zaki, Giade and Kirfi  to implement the scheme. In these LGAs, a total of 90 wards have been selected, 10 in each of the LGAs. Twenty beneficiaries were selected in each of these wards by the community implementation committees. The beneficiaries included families with low level or no source of any income; HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and leprosy infected families; disabled or vulnerable families and widows or orphanage families.

 

But how many people has the committee selected in the local governments and what benefits have they derived from the scheme?

About 2,000 of the poorest persons have been chosen and would be receiving the sum of N5, 000 each month for a period of 12 months. To this end MDGs Bauchi went out and captured all the images of the 2,000 beneficiaries, produced their photo albums ,including ID cards; participating banks were also identified for the payment to be effected. Consequently, on Thursday, August  30, 2012, state governor Isa Yuguda flagged off the implementation of the programme at Miri village. The sum of N15,000 was presented to each of the beneficiaries during the flag off of the scheme. I commend both the federal and the state governments for introducing the programme and urge the beneficiaries on the need to make good use of the money given to them in order to justify the continuation of the programme. The programme, if sustained, would go along way in alleviating the extreme poverty in our contemporary society. Therefore, the total number of 2,000 beneficiaries from the 90 wards of the selected LGAs have so far received the sum. The payment exercise was conducted in all the benefitting local governments as mentioned above and it was largely a huge success. All the centres were heavily guarded by the armed policemen throughout the payment periods, to ensure safety and security of the money as well as the payment officials and the beneficiaries. In a nutshell, the exercise was successful and hitch-free except for few cases of misrepresentation of names and photos of right beneficiaries on the identification cards. Similarly the State Millennium Development Goals Project Support Unit, in collaboration with the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, has successfully conducted a two-day Baseline Inventory Workshop for MDGs staff across the north east sub region. The workshop was aimed at preparing participants and research assistants for a 10-day inventory taking exercise for all localities in the north east sub region. The 10-day exercise covered Bauchi South Senatorial Zone that comprised Bauchi, Alkaleri, Kirfi, Toro, Dass,Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro local governments.                               

In another development, the second round of  inventory mapping exercise has commenced with a view to covering northern senatorial zone of Bauchi State. The first round of the exercise covering Bauchi south was conducted some few weeks ago.

 

Finally, what more programs do you intend to implement this year 2013 to better the lots of the people and concomitantly mitigate the level of poverty in Bauchi State?

We have many programmes and projects we want to execute this year. We have programmes on health, education and poverty alleviation. We would provide more social amenities such as schools, health centres and water supply. We would also introduce skills acquisition centres for youth and women empowerment. By the special grace of God, Bauchi MDGS office would come up with various programmes that will empower the people as well as alleviate drastically the rate of penury in the society, because we are committed to achieving the eight set objectives of the Millennium Development Goals.

 

Category: Bauchi State News

Comments are closed.